Asia Markets: Asian markets mixed ahead of U.S. midterm elections

Asian stock markets were mixed in early trading Tuesday, as investors awaited the U.S. midterm elections.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +1.14%   rose about 1% after yesterday’s pullback, with drug and consumer-goods makers strong; Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma 4506, +7.02%   was up 5.7%. Meanwhile, SoftBank 9984, -1.97%   gave up early gains and sank more than 2% despite posting strong second-quarter results after the bell Monday. Also, while denouncing the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said his company’s massive investment fund will continue to do business with Saudi Arabia.

Chinese stocks fell, with the Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.36%  , where many smaller-cap firms are listed, dropping 1.6%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.23%  , meanwhile, declined 1% after snapping a four-day winning streak yesterday. One bright spot was the so-called technology-innovation sector, following word of tax breaks. Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park 600895, +10.01%   and Luxin Venture Capital 600783, +10.02%   were again up the 10% daily limit.

Hong Kong stocks dropped slightly, with the Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.72%   off 0.1%. Tencent 0700, -0.14%   was down 1.2% after yesterday’s 3.7% retreat. Mainland property developers, meanwhile, reversed a bit of yesterday’s latest swoon, rising some 1%. But insurer AIA 1299, +0.48%   was down 0.3% and smartphone-component maker AAC 2018, -3.46%   dropped a further 6.6%.

South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.61%   was up slightly, though Samsung 005930, -0.11%   fell more than 1%. Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, -0.66%   fell nearly 1% as Apple Inc. AAPL, -2.84%   supplier Largan Precision 3008, -6.26%   tumbled 6%. Markets in Singapore and Malaysia were closed for a holiday.

Down Under, Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, +0.98%  was up nearly 1%, led by the energy and materials sectors. Later in the day, the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to announce it is keeping its interest rates flat. New Zealand’s NSX-50 NZ50GR, +0.43%   index was up 0.4%.

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